Abina and the Important Men A Graphic History

ISBN-10: 0199844399

ISBN-13: 9780199844395

Edition: 2011

Authors: Trevor R. Getz, Liz Clarke

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The first of its kind, Abina and the Important Men is a compelling and powerfully illustrated "graphic history" based on an 1876 court transcript of a West African woman named Abina, who was wrongfully enslaved and took her case to court. The book is a microhistory that does much more thansimply depict an event in the past; it uses the power of illustration to convey important themes in world history and to reveal the processes by which history is made.The story of Abina Mansah - a woman "without history" who was wrongfully enslaved, escaped to British-controlled territory, and then took her former master to court - takes place in the complex world of the Gold Coast at the onset of late nineteenth-century colonialism. Slavery becomes a contestedground, as cultural practices collide with an emerging wage economy and British officials turn a blind eye to the presence of underpaid domestic workers in the households of African merchants. The main scenes of the story take place in the courtroom, where Abina strives to convince a series of "important men" - a British judge, two Euro-African attorneys, a wealthy African country "gentleman," and a jury of local leaders - that her rights matter. "Am I free?" Abina inquires. Throughoutboth the court case and the flashbacks that dramatically depict her life in servitude, these men strive to "silence" Abina and to impose their own understandings and meanings upon her. The story seems to conclude with the short-term success of the "important men," as Abina loses her case. But itdoesn't end there: Abina is eventually redeemed. Her testimony is uncovered in the dusty archives by Trevor Getz and, through Liz Clarke's illustrations, becomes a graphic history read by people around the world. In this way, the reader takes an active part in the story along with the illustrator,the author, and Abina herself.Following the graphic history in Part I, Parts II-V provide detailed historical context for the story, a reading guide that reconstructs and deconstructs the methods used to interpret the story, and strategies for using Abina in various classroom settings. Click the following links to see sample pages from the book:a href="http://www.oup.com/us/pdf/highered/30335689/getz1.JPG "Sample page 1/a a href="http://www.oup.com/us/pdf/highered/30335689/getz2.JPG "Sample page 2/a
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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 9/22/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 7.25" wide x 10.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.518
Language: English

Table of Contents
The graphic history
The transcript
Historical context
The Gold Coast, c.1876
The British Civilizing Mission
The British Civilizing Mission
The Civilizing Mission in the Gold Coast
Slavery in the Gold Coast
The Atlantic Slave Trade and Abolition
Abina Mansah and the Important Men
Reading guide
Whose Story is This?
A staircase of voices
Representation and Translation
Is this a "true" story?
Reconstructing Abina's story
Deconstructing the courtroom transcript
Reconstructing Abina's "truths" or constructing our own?
Is this "authentic" history?
Local forms of history-telling
The personal and the collective authentic
History as a forum or a temple
Abina in the classroom
Abina for the world history classroom
Abina for the African history/African studies classroom
Abina and colonialism
Abina and the history of slavery
Gendering Abina's story
Reading questions
Introductory questions, for students at all levels
Questions for students at the university or college level
Additional questions for advanced undergraduate and graduate students
Timeline of Events
Further Resources
Abina Mansah
Slavery and Abolition on the Gold Coast
About Colonialism and the Gold Coast
General histories of Africa
Imperialism and Colonialism
Gender and African History
Web Resources
List of maps and images
Location of Gold Coast, 16th-18th century
Language distribution in Ghana today
Asante c. 1700
Asante and the Gold Coast in the 1870s, showing sites of Abina Mansah's enslavement
Page of transcript from Regina v. Quamina Eddoo
Further readings
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